5 Tips To Stay Motivated During A-Levels

Exams are a stressful period for any student. Here are 5 tips to stay motivated in this challenging exam period and achieve your goals.

Author: Adi Sen

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School exam season is an extremely stressful period for any student. There’s no question about it.

It’s easy to let the exam pressure start to grate on you and let the procrastination bug kick in. After weeks or months of revising in preparation, you’re nearly at the end… but it doesn’t feel quite like it.


Because of this, it can be difficult to keep motivated through the arduous exam timetable. Before you can get ready for your summer plans, you have to get through this final step. It’s really important that you stay at peak performance at this stage.


Just think about what you’ll get out of putting the time in here; your dream university place, the perfect job! 


Here are 5 tips and tricks to stay motivated in this challenging exam period and achieve your goals:

1. Switch up your revision strategy

You’ve been stuck doing the same routine now for weeks: 

This calls for a change of tactic! It is time to start varying your revision methods. Do something completely out of the ordinary for yourself.


That paragraph that just won’t get stuck into your mind? Set your phone on record and read it out loud. Now listen back to it. Sure you might hate the sound of your voice, but I’m willing to bet you remember 70% more of what the passage actually says.


If you really, really hate the sound of your own voice, try someone else’s. Find a podcast on your given topic and get listening. Usually, there are revision podcasts aimed at the A/AS level specification so it will be relevant. 

More of a visual learner? Take a risky trip to YouTube, avert your eyes from what you normally watch, and find a video on your revision topic. There’s guaranteed to be a great one out there. YouTube channels like SnapRevise have lots of useful revision videos.


Be creative and look for something that works for your learning style.

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2. Incentivise yourself

Nothing good comes easy. Good things come from hard work. Hard work should be rewarded. These 3 statements are the basis of this motivation strategy.


Yes, the end goal is getting the A* grade you want, but what about all the hard work in-between?


You should reward the smaller steps you take on reaching your overall goal. Incentivise yourself with little bonuses for little achievements. If you planned to revise intensively for 3 hours for Chemistry and did exactly that, then treat yourself with a visit to some friends or play a game for a bit.


These small victories are what will keep you going through the stressful exam period.


Don’t set yourself up for failure, we are all for ambition but make your goals realistic. Setting achievable goals that still require hard work will make you feel you are progressing rather than always playing catch-up. Having a more positive and reasonable approach will make revision so much easier.

3. Get a study buddy

A problem shared is a problem halved. If you’ve got a friend sitting the same exam as you, then why not get together for some revision practise?


You’ll be able to work through difficult topics with each other and you’ll be able to explain things to each other, improving your understanding and helping them out at the same time.


It also helps to know that you’re not the only one in this situation. Scrolling through Facebook or Twitter might give you the impression that others are out having fun when you’re stuck inside revising. In truth, this probably isn’t the case. Facebook has a nasty habit of creating this impression.

4. Throw yourself a curveball

If you’re really struggling to get yourself motivated at all, then it’s time for something completely different. Similar to switching up your revision strategy, do something completely out of the ordinary for your revision.


Do you usually work at home on your desk? Move out to the garden or a quiet coffee shop. Do you usually start revision at lunchtime? Set your alarm to get you up at the crack of dawn and do the same amount of revision but finish much earlier.


Changing things up completely can have a great effect on your revision. While you may be used to starting revising at 12PM, psychologically your mind is already thinking “time to switch off”. Changing your schedule and environment drastically will refresh all of these thoughts and help you make the most of the time you have.

5. Get those endorphins flowing

Revision often means being stationary for hours at a time. This isn’t great for your concentration.

Every 45 minutes – 1 hour get up out of where you revise and get some blood flowing. You could go for a short walk, do a few push-ups or play with your dog. If you’re looking to get into running or general exercise, try the NHS Couch to 5K

These little breaks do a world of good for your revision focus. They’ll feel good while you’re doing them, and you’ll reap the benefits when you return to revision afterwards.

Motivation is a big killer when it comes to exam revision, but these 5 tips are guaranteed to help with it. Just keep in mind why you’re revising – it’s all going to be worth it!

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